I have been working for a company for 6 months. On the first day of my employment my manager gave his four weeks notice. He set objectives and meetings in a document before leaving and left the duty to the interim manager while we were waiting for a new manager to be appointed. In the meantime the interim manager did nothing to assess my work and we didn't do any meeting to see whether I was doing good or not. A new line manager was finally appointed in the last 5 weeks of my probation, and he decided to extend my probation for further two months because he is basically not sure if I am fit for the job. I spoke with the higher level manager and they said that this is just a formality and to give the new manager more security about me, and I need to be really bad in this two months do be dismissed (I totally exclude this).

Now, in the worst case scenario, what if this new manager at the end of these two months decided to terminate my employment. Could a manager (himself still in a probation period) take such an important decision in such a short time he is in a company? Do I have some right to appeal to this potential decision because the interim manager did not assess me within the probation? I was doing good, he had a lot to do and since everyone was happy with my work, he forgot I was in my probation.

  • 1
    @user3523583 reread your terms!
    – Gusdor
    Commented May 6, 2017 at 20:46
  • My terms state what I can or cannot do in my probation, not what a manager can or cannot do. Commented May 6, 2017 at 21:49
  • 4
    Do the terms state the length of the probation? Contracts are binding for both parties and you need to see what it says about the length. If it states a length, that's the length. But while a new manager might not technically be able to extend it, I would suspect that if it's determined he can't extend it, then he'll consider you to have failed and that's presumably the end of your employment (taking into accounts notice periods and such, if applicable) So extending it probably is to your benefit if you consider the alternative he would likely choose.
    – Chris E
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 0:08
  • @ChristopherEstep — Indeed, user3523583 should research whether the company had or has the right to extend the probation period in this situation. Depending on the law, the agreements and the contract. The dates matter. A notice period may matter too. Is unilateral extending of the probation period allowed? [In France, it is not allowed.] But, IF the company is not allowed to extend the probation period, THEN why, and how, "he'll consider you to have failed"? This would mean ending the probation period of a worker being not anymore in probation period, which is forbidden, no? Commented May 7, 2017 at 9:42
  • Perhaps the probation period increase might be good for you. Consider that you do not get on with the manager.
    – Ed Heal
    Commented May 7, 2017 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


here is what the citizensadvice.org.uk says about it,

Probationary periods

It is common for employers to treat new employees as being in a ‘probationary’ period when they first start work. The employer may then argue that you can be dismissed while you are in this probationary period with no warning (notice). Employers also often argue that employees do not have usual employment rights to, for example, pay or holidays, during this ‘probationary’ period.

There is no such thing in law as a ‘probationary’ period. Once you have started work, the number of weeks you have worked begin on the day you start, not from some time when a ‘probationary’ period is over. Your full contractual rights also start from the first day of work, unless your contract says otherwise.

Your contract could, however, contain terms which only apply during your probationary period and which are less favourable than those which apply when your probationary period has ended. These terms must not take away your statutory rights.

Your employer can extend your probationary period, as long as your contract says they can do this. For example, your employer may want to extend your probationary period in order to have more time to assess your performance. However, they can only do this if your contract has a term which says your probationary period can be extended under these circumstances.

So, basically read the contract; in case you can contact them using the info from here,


They are knowledgeable and they will be able to help you. Alternatively, you could contact an union; just go to one of their offices and asks to speak with a unionist for a quick advice, they will usually reply to your questions even if you are not enrolled (even though they will not act on your behalf, naturally).

Finally, always remember that the protection for workers in the United Kingdom, compared to other EU countries, is almost non-existent. A part in the case of discrimination, it is very easy for a company to fire an employee, and even in the case of unfair dismissal what you could get from them is almost nothing. (Source my personal experience)

  • 1
    I read my terms, and it simply says that probation is six months, it can be extended or terminated at any point. Decision upon reasons for extensions or terminations are not stated in my contract. Hence I was asking if anyone has had an experience as a manager. My new manager showed me some excerpts of a document (did not tell me what this is) that says that probation can be extended in some circumstances, included the one I am describing. The higher manager gave his consent, so I assume it is possible. will go to CAB tomorrow but I imagine I won't be able to do much in case of termination. Commented May 7, 2017 at 22:39
  • Most likely the documents were internal policies. Usually your contract mentions them and says that you accepted them; even though, you may have not read them. They could have given to you initially with the contract, or during the induction, or you could ask for a copy to HR. Commented May 8, 2017 at 9:28
  • If you signed a contract that says you probation can be extended at any point without additional information this is valid, unless there is some higher law forbidding it to be valid, even if stated in the contract. You need a lawyer to tell you the specifics.
    – skymningen
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 11:05

Check the law. In my (EU) country, it is illegal for a probation period to exceed 6 months. The law states that if a contract specifies a longer period, the maximum, six-months one will be used instead. This may or may not be the case in your country.

Whether your employer's (represented by your manager) decision can be appealed is again a matter of local law. Generally you should consult a lawyer.

However, 6 months is a long time and it's not ethical for them to extend your probation period just because the new manager is not up-to-speed with your performance. If they couldn't find you a manager or the interim one wasn't doing her job, that's entirely their problem and you shouldn't be paying the consequences. While they "assure" you they won't likely get rid of you, it will still cause you stress as you have less job security.

  • What is your country? Commented May 7, 2017 at 9:47
  • I'm located in Bulgaria. Commented May 7, 2017 at 16:30
  • @down-voter: I would appreciate feedback on how my answer can be improved. Commented May 7, 2017 at 16:30

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